Equipment upkeep: an essential task

Part of my job as the Outdoor Pursuits Program Director is to maintain some of the equipment we have here at the school. For me, it’s imperative that our climbing wall, snowshoes and cross country skis are all in good working order. As with all sports, properly maintained equipment makes for a much more enjoyable experience. Ask any hockey or ringette player and they can tell you how difficult it is to skate on dull skates. Likewise if you are in the backcountry on a snowshoeing trip and you blow the ratchet on your binding, the trip may no longer be that enjoyable as you try to figure out how to keep your snowshoe attached to your boot.

Proper maintenance of equipment is one of those essential tasks. Before I take any class out on an overnight trip or even out for the afternoon, I double check to make sure that all of the equipment is working properly. Inevitably though, at some point you have to do some maintenance. As a recreationalist, we often transition from one sport season to the next by simply putting our equipment away in the garage until it is once again needed. I would suggest that prior to putting your equipment away for the season that you take a few moments to go over your gear and fix or replace any items that might be getting worn out from just the regular wear and tear that we put on our equipment. If it’s your mountain bike, then have it serviced at the end of the season so that when the snow melts you are ready to ride. If it’s your skis or snowboard then make sure that they are waxed properly before storage so the bases don’t dry out over summer. Much of the simple maintenance can be done by you at home, but if you are not comfortable with that, then take your equipment into one of the many excellent sporting goods shops that we have here in the city and they can help you out. By keeping your equipment properly maintained you will enhance both the safety and the performance of your equipment allowing you the opportunity to have a positive activity experience.

Rob Schmidt

Outdoor Pursuits Program Director